The History of Art at Iowa State University Essay

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Have you ever been to Iowa State University and seen all of the magnificent art that is located on campus? Iowa State is home to one of the largest campus public art collections in the United States. There are over 2,000 works of public art (George Washington Carver). The foundation of the contemporary Art on Campus Collection and Program began during the Depression in the 1930s, when Iowa State's President Hughes envisioned that, "The arts would enrich and provide substantial intellectual exploration into our college curricula” (George Washington Carver). Who doesn’t love art? Every day you wake up and experience some sort of artwork; whether it’s a sculpture or just seeing something made so wonderful. Walking across the magnificent…show more content…
We live in a world where there is lots of judging and I believe people may not even give some art pieces a chance. In the 1940s, Christian Petersen sculpted a plaster figure of George Washington Carver. According to an article from Iowa State Museums, “This is one of the few free-standing, full length sculptures that Petersen ever made” (George Washington Carver). He sculpted Carver as an old man holding a single peanut in his hands. Petersen’s intentions were to emphasize Carver's vision for the future of agriculture (George Washington Carver). George Washington Carver was the first African American to attend Iowa State, and I personally didn’t know this until I saw the sculpture located near Carver Hall. Art has its meanings, even if sometimes you aren’t looking for them. A quote from George Washington Carver shows how much he cared for this blessed university, “I have no words to adequately express my impressions of dear old I.S.C. (Iowa State College). All I am and all I hope to be, I owe in a very large measure to this blessed institution” (Mark Bagley). When this sculpture was first created Petersen wasn’t able to cast this sculpture in bronze because the cost was too much money, so he painted the work of art to resemble bronze. The sculpture was originally put inside Carver Hall on the first floor lobby (George Washington Carver). If this was put outside it would have just got ruined by the weather, since the snow and cold could

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